YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Someone is struck by a train every three hours in the United States. The problem is significant and that is why the United States Department of Transportation launched the “Stop! Trains Can’t” ad campaign.
The message targets young males between 18 and 49 years old in states with the most dangerous crossings, including Ohio. Statistics show males are involved in 75 percent of all railroad crossing accidents.
While rail incidents overall have declined in the past decade, railroad crossing fatalities spiked in 2014.
“The message is simple: Ignoring railroad crossing signs or attempting to race or beat a train can have deadly consequences,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Hundreds of lives could be saved each year by simply following the rules.”
The $7 million ad campaign includes a 30-second ad showing a train barreling down the tracks trying to apply the brakes. Then it shows the train striking an SUV.
In 2015, 244 people we killed in accidents involving trains. Ohio ranked 6th for the number of people killed at railroad crossings with 12 fatalities that year. Pennsylvania came in 15th overall with five deaths in the state involving trains.
States targeted in the ad campaign include: California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona.
By law, trains always have the right of way because they cannot swerve, stop quickly, or change directions to avert collisions. A freight train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes a mile – the length of 18 football fields or more – to come to a stop once the emergency brakes are applied.
For more information on the campaign, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website.